Masters Exhibition ‘C³: Collaborative Contextualised Conversations’
A new exhibition featuring work which ranges from paintings inspired by local politics to documentary films set in Scotland is set to open at Gray’s School of Art this week.
‘C³: Collaborative Contextualised Conversations’ will showcase the work of current Masters students at the art school, opening on Friday, September 4 and running until September 11.
The exhibition features work by both full and part-time students who are the first cohort to study the Contextualised Practice course offered by Gray’s.
The course has seen the students either develop their work within a studio setting or work collaboratively within organisations and communities in Aberdeen City and Shire.
Among the students who will be exhibiting is Anne Murray, who has spent the year working with the community in Rhynie to create a range of work inspired by one of the Pictish stones discovered in the village.
Rhynie Man is a large grey granite boulder on which is carved a standing figure of a warrior in a knee-length, sleeved tunic with a belt and pointed shoes, carrying an axe over his shoulder, which is now housed at the Aberdeenshire Council headquarters.
Anne said: “We know very little about the Picts and it appears they used other means of communication such as their enigmatic symbol stones. Archaeologists are at an early stage of learning about them and this creates the opportunity for artists to be creative and playful.
“Working with the artist collective Rhynie Woman and Aberdeenshire Council, I wanted to help reconnect Rhynie Man with the local community and develop a narrative that allows him to symbolically return to Rhynie.”
The project has been split into a number of elements, with Anne working to raise awareness of Rhynie Man, setting up his own blog and Twitter accounts, creating a map of the area which highlights areas of historical significance and setting out on a ‘pilgrimage’ tracing a route from Aberdeen to Rhynie.
On display as part of the exhibition will be a number of objects linked to the project, including a hand carved staff, laser etched alms and a stop motion film Anne has created to tell the story of Rhynie Man.
Also looking forward to showcasing his work is Italian student Giuseppe Pizzo, who has produced an online magazine spanning photography and documentary film.
He said: “I wanted to explore what was happening around me, to pull together the stories of bystanders, onlookers.
“The natural audience for my work is people who want to escape. It is called Stereotypical Mag because I am looking to show that you don’t need to follow the same life as everyone else. There are alternatives ways of living to just consumerism, to making money for the sake of spending it.”
Among the work Giuseppe has created are films documenting life in the Outer Hebrides, looking at the impact of climate change on the Scottish ski industry and a football match between Celtic and Inter Milan.
The exhibition also features paintings inspired by local politics, including a portrait of MP for Gordon Alex Salmond by student Nicole Porter, a comic narrative presented in a range of different mediums by Nathan Garden and a range of work in progress by part-time students on the course.
Course leader Iain Irving said: “This is the first presentation of the new course so all the projects are very interesting in themselves and they are all very different and individual.
“Some of the students have developed their work outwith the studio environment, working in the community or with other professionals such as archaeologists and other artists, or have used particular sites to drive their process forward.”
He added: “The work is also very much about being here in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and the things that are happening in the area. That is what we are trying to achieve with the course – that people will be inspired to study here and find it a stimulating environment.”
‘C3: Collaborative Contextual Conversations’ opens at Gray’s School of Art on Friday, September 4 and runs until September 11. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm.
Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology